How Jeff Byers co-founded Momentous

How Jeff Byers co-founded Momentous

How Jeff Byers co-founded Momentous

The Founder Series is a column by and about Utah founders and how they got to where they are today. Click here to read past articles in the series.

Momentous didn’t start as a supplements-for-nutrition company, but it’s the direction we took. We found a way to benefit those in need of high-performance products and became committed to doing it far better than it had ever been done before.

When I was a professional athlete in the NFL, it was easy to get the supplements and nutrition I needed to be at my best. I was very connected with my coaches, dietitians and trainers—the people helping me optimize my body for the physical toll of being an offensive lineman.

When I retired, my unlimited access to those same kinds of products and expertise disappeared. That was a hard reality. Few products used in professional or college sports trickle down in a meaningful way to those who might benefit from them elsewhere.

I had an idea: Perhaps I could help leverage the kind of performance products and expertise I was used to and bring both to consumers outside of professional sports.

A life optimization company

In 2018, my co-founder—and now Momentous president—Erica Good and I started Amp Human, a human performance company dedicated to helping athletes of all levels reach their potential. We developed our flagship product, PR Lotion, as a natural electrolyte bicarb solution to neutralize pH in muscles during exercise. In simple terms, it helps users train harder, perform stronger and recover faster. It became (and remains) wildly popular with elite athletes across a wide range of sports.

When Erica and I first considered the supplement nutrition category in 2021, I had doubts about it. I was worried about being attached to the category, as I didn’t have much love for it at all. As a longtime user of protein and creatine supplements ever since high school and throughout my playing career, I knew it could be a messy space, with a lot of question marks hanging over trustworthiness and transparency in the supplements world.

Put simply, consumers don’t trust this industry, largely because of its lack of transparency. The barriers to launching a product in this category are almost zero. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate and oversee the supplement industry, it does not proactively test finished products for heavy metals, label claim verification or pesticides and banned substances. This means many supplements on the market today can contain ingredients that are not displayed on the label, or lack the ones that should be there. 

This is something we pride ourselves on doing differently. The supplements industry is broken, but when done correctly, it can be so important for health, wellness and longevity.

When Momentous came onto our radar, it was immediately attractive to us for a lot of reasons. They had done all their sourcing and certifications. They had done the legwork on finding the best partners in the supplement space. They had built the needed processes to become a best-in-class company.

How Jeff Byers co-founded Momentous
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Head coach Pete Carroll and guard Jeff Byers #53 of the USC Trojans shake hands after the game with the Arizona State Sun Devils on October 10, 2008 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. USC won 28-0. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

I had an epiphany: merging with Momentous meant we could build very fast. It was a tremendous opportunity to build a more traditional supplement line with some of the people Erica and I had come across. We merged Amp Human with Momentous, allowing us to do business together with a broader view and creating what I call a “life optimization” company.

Momentous doesn’t offer sports performance products; they’re for anyone who wants to perform better—whether you’re a dad, mom or grandparent. It’s for whoever is thinking about their purpose. By raising the bar in the supplement and sports nutrition category, we can increase health and lifespan and decrease the gap between the two in our lifetime. We’re helping optimize wellness, building our category into something broader than it’s ever been. 

When a customer chooses our high-performance products, they’re making a conscious commitment to learn what they need to do to operate better. It means they’re following an internal chart to determine what they most want to achieve. Even an active goal of sleeping better would mean they are increasing their performance.

Our mission became to democratize access to these kinds of products, to take what’s happening in science and pro sports and pave the way toward bringing it to our customers. Lucky for us, we had a lot of help.

The people in our ecosystem

One of the ways we started growing was by building on the connections Erica and I had previously made. By funding a technology inside of biotech prior to Momentous, we gained access to really smart people, practitioners and high-profile advisors who subsequently became part of our board.

Our advisory board started years before the company started. Coming from the world of pro and college sports, I was an athlete and performer. I wasn’t an expert in anything, but I had the best sports medicine doctors, dieticians, strength coaches and performance scientists. All provided input on how to become better. Those on our board play a similar role.

By holding ourselves to a standard few in our industry have when it comes to overall quality, commitment to science and doing third-party and software testing certification on entire product lines, we started to garner the support we required. We began enjoying unique partnerships with experts, including well-known names like Dr. Andrew Huberman, Rich Roll and even the United States military. 

We wanted to curate the best product line we could with the help of these incredible minds. That way, we could hold ourselves to the high standards that only these individuals could achieve.

Any one of the people we now have on our advisory board could have chosen to work with us, and it would have been enough. Because we do all the special stuff we do and they’d seen it firsthand, they knew we were doing things differently. More and more of them wanted to come on board. That was so impactful.

One of the biggest challenges as a company is being able to tell your story. It’s hard to capture consumers’ attention in short-form content, but that story still needs to be told. The partners on our board have been able to validate our research and help tell it for us.

“The supplements industry is broken, but when done correctly, it can be so important for health, wellness and longevity.”

How Jeff Byers co-founded Momentous

A commitment to science

Our advisors allowed us a core commitment to science. Humility was important. Knowing what we didn’t know was important. As we continued to develop our product portfolio, there was less “Here’s the best thing ever,” and more, “Here’s some compelling data. How do you think it works?”

Working with those leaders was this flywheel that just kept going. Every service or product we created was by our experts. It wasn’t dictated by the market or trends. Instead, we approached our board of scientists and specialists and asked them how it fits. We asked them what we should do and how to best develop a product.

By leveraging our board to help craft clinical research, they have also helped us guide advocacy work on Capitol Hill around democratizing this knowledge and changing policy to elevate our category. They helped us understand that we are more than a supplement company. For example, what are the behaviors to be aware of? What else should we be talking to our consumers about? They’ve guided us, and that foresight has proven so instrumental.

After all, growing a brand to challenge an entire category comes with its fair share of noise. Breaking through all of that was incredibly hard. Before we partnered with Dr. Huberman, we’d already won seven innovation contracts with the Department of Defense. We were doing great things, but without their help, it was hard to get through to the consumer.

This journey feels like it’s still just beginning, and it’s allowing us to emerge as leaders in this space. We’ve briefed Congress twice on high-performance initiatives, specifically around traumatic brain injury and female performance. We’ve reached this place by focusing on creating a higher standard that will remain critical to increasing wellness and promoting longevity.

Revenue and company growth was slow at first, but we knew that would shift. We knew we had something special. Some nutrition supplement brands make so many outrageous claims that it can be hard for the consumer to know what’s real.

While there have been challenges, we’re getting better at moving past them. When you intrinsically believe and hold that belief to your core, it takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline to remain true to that. I’ve engaged in a lot of self-talk over the years, battling the decisions I’ve made personally and professionally, trying to make things work in the way I think they ought to—and it’s all been worth it.

Now, it’s about not just capturing momentum but maintaining it. We don’t want to follow the same playbook as everybody else. It’s about doing what’s needed to do it better than it’s been done before. That’s really hard and occasionally contradictory. It’s not what everybody wants to see because it’s also not the fastest or easiest way to make money, but it is the most impactful way to build something meaningful.

I’m happy to report that over the past 18 months, there has been a strong demand for what we have to offer. Now, we’re focused on maintaining that rhythm. When you’re growing fast, it’s really easy to break away from what makes a company special. While we aren’t doing it the fastest way possible, I’m proud to say we are staying true to our mission. 

Advice you can put into action

Nothing about starting a business is ever fast or easy.

  1. Be unkillable. If you want to succeed, learn to fight to your last breath. The longer you survive, the greater your odds of success. It’s about discovering opportunities when you pivot. How do I buy more time? Is there an opportunity here? Find it and take it, whatever it is.
  2. Don’t stop trying. Keep digging holes until you find that proverbial gold vein. If you find it right away, you’re pretty damn lucky. You may only find trace amounts of greatness here or there, but keep going. Decide to make bone-crushing consistency a habit.
  3. Learn and practice resilience. Entrepreneurs should attach short memories to their success. You can and will fail a lot. When you succeed, however, don’t dwell on it too long. Clock in the next day and do it again. Celebrate your wins, but keep in mind there are more games to play. Practice starts tomorrow. Whether you fail or win, you must keep going.

Earn your luck by developing momentum. There will always be motivation to build a new company. Following through on your ideas will take you to great places. Capture your momentum, then keep finding new ways to drive your ideas and passions forward.

How Jeff Byers co-founded Momentous

Jeff Byers is the co-founder and CEO of Momentous, a wellness company offering world-class performance and health solutions for high-performance seekers at all levels to push boundaries and strive for better. Previously, Jeff was the founder of Amp Human, a high-performance wellness brand. In 2021, Jeff led a merger between Amp Human and Momentous, with both brands becoming one under the latter’s identity with the goal of providing a diverse, best-in-class product suite. Before his business career, Jeff attended the University of Southern California, where he was a two-time captain and a multiple-year starter for their championship football team. While playing, he graduated with his undergraduate degree in three years and proceeded to earn his master's in business administration before entering the NFL. He had a four-year career in the NFL, mostly for the Carolina Panthers.